02 May 2018

Finding hidden figures
in the choir stalls in
Lichfield Cathedral

A carved image of a bishop in the chapter stalls in Lichfield Chapter ... is this an image of Saint Chad? (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

Patrick Comerford

As I was photographing the prebendal stalls in Lichfield Cathedral last week, my eyes were caught by the many carvings on the chapter and choir stalls in the chancel.

I noticed at least 16 carvings, but I realise that there may be many more, in more discreet corners of the stalls, familiar to choristers and canons alike, but known to very few people beyond those who sit in the stalls for Evensong in the Cathedral.

These carvings in oak present a variety of beings: angels, prophets, apostles, evangelists, kings, bishops, and one may represent Christ himself.

Perhaps there are four evangelists here. Perhaps the bishops include Saint Chad of Lichfield himself. But there no labels to identify these figures, and some have lost hands, or parts of their arms.

I have posted them here without captions or comments. Perhaps, some day, I may find more; perhaps, some day, I may be able to identify and name each figure.

Photographs: Patrick Comerford, 2018

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